Three handwritten wills have been discovered in Aretha Franklin’s home, months after her death, squashing previous claims the famous singer didn’t pen one before her death.
According to the news outlet, the singer’s lawyer has confirmed that the wills were discovered earlier this month with the earliest dated to 2010 and the most recent, found beneath the cushions, apparently compiled in 2014. They reportedly leave the ‘Respect’ singer’s assets to family members.
The shock find comes after claims emerged following Aretha’s death in August that she died ‘intestate’, meaning she had not penned a will or left legal instruction as to who should inherit her wealth in the event of her death, celebrity news website TMZ reported at the time.
As a result, it had been claimed that her estate would be divided equally between her four sons – Clarence, 63, Edward, 61, Ted, 54, and Kecalf, 48 – in accordance with Michigan state law.
However, the new discovery could throw a spanner in the works for the family, with two of Aretha’s sons reportedly objecting to the wills. 7 News reports the three documents had been shared with all of her children but its unsure as yet whether they will be considered valid.
A court hearing is scheduled for June 12 to discuss the matter.
Aretha passed away at home in Detroit on August 16, at the age of 76, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. In a statement at the time her family described it as “one of the darkest moments of our lives”.
“We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds,” they said.
“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world.
They added: “Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this time.”
Her passing also triggered an outpouring of grief across the globe, with many of the music industry’s biggest names paying tribute to the ‘Queen of Soul’. Paul McCartney said on Twitter: “Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years.”
Singer Elton John said: “The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.”